Microgrid technology to enable wind energy use on island

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ABB delivered and commissioned a microgrid control solution that enables the island of Faial in the Atlantic ocean to add more wind energy to its power mix without destabilizing the network.

Faial is one of nine volcanic islands in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago located midway between Europe and North America, about 930 miles from the mainland. The island of 15,000 inhabitants has an electricity network that operates as a self-contained microgrid, powered by six oil-fired generators that produce up to 17 MW of electric power.

The local power utility, Electricidade dos Açores (EDA) has installed five wind turbines as part of its efforts to boost capacity by more than 25 percent and minimize environmental impact on Faial, where tourism is an important industry.

The control solution, a flagship technology of the recent Powercorp acquisition, will calculate the most economical configuration, ensure balance between supply and demand, maximize the integration of wind energy and optimize the generators so that the entire system performs at peak potential.

The integration of wind energy combined with ABB’s solution will save an estimated 3.5 million liters of fuel per year enough for a car to travel about 2,300 times around the world. This has the potential to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by around 9,400 tons.

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